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It appears that you get to blink stars on any message as frequently as you want, as long as you want. Some child on The Bridge has just found out about this and the only approach I can think of - banning people at random until the abuse stops - is not something I feel like applying right now.

Please fix this, either through rate limiting, not counting unstar events towards your 30 star/day limit, shadow star bans or whatever means necessary and super-linear combination thereof.

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    Is it really that obnoxious? You must really get mad at the drivers who leave their left blinker on. – Robert Harvey Dec 4 '13 at 19:28
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    @TheGrinch Yes. – badp Dec 4 '13 at 19:28
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    @TheGrinch It also makes the list of starred messages on the right flicker each time the message is starred or unstarred, it's annoying in the way hyperactive animated ads are. – Mad Scientist Dec 4 '13 at 19:31
  • Alternatively, a mod/owner ability to see who's starred what would resolve the issue as well, and punish the user for the annoyance. – fbueckert Dec 4 '13 at 19:34
  • @TheGrinch you'd be surprised how annoying it can get after ~20+ minutes of it, since there's no detail on who is starring our moderators can't do anything about it – Flyk Dec 4 '13 at 19:34
  • Does putting the room in timeout prevent starring? – Shog9 Dec 4 '13 at 19:35
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    @Shog9 Even if it did the timeout just gives this bored 7yo a countdown to precisely the moment where abuse may resume. We are discussing countermeasures but I can't think of anything given the current state of chat. – badp Dec 4 '13 at 19:35
  • @Shog9 why would that be fair on all of the other people minding their own business and chatting? – Flyk Dec 4 '13 at 19:35
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    @Flyk: It's not; I'm asking because badp reported having some trouble catching the star active. Honestly, this seems like a fairly minor form of griefing to me, but if it's bugging people then probably worth figuring out some way to mitigate it. – Shog9 Dec 4 '13 at 19:38
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    @Shog9 probably the easiest way would be to make the act of unstarring not refund the star - that way the person in question has a finite amount of stars. Alternatively, implement something similar to the comment upvoting/un-upvoting where you prevent re-starring of a message. If you wanted to really push the boat out you could allow moderators to see who is taking part in this kind of behaviour so they could launch said user into the sun – Flyk Dec 4 '13 at 19:42
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    Preventing re-starring probably wouldn't help. One could just star, unstar, and then move to the next message. That could stay annoying for a while. – murgatroid99 Dec 4 '13 at 19:43
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    @Flyk so you're saying that if they starred, unstarred, and re-starred, it would count as 2 stars? – nhinkle Dec 4 '13 at 19:43
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    Temporary visual fix for star area flashing: (function(){var $s = $("#starred-posts"); var h = $s.height(); $s.css({height:h+"px",overflow:"auto"});})(); – Travis J Dec 4 '13 at 19:50
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    Maybe it's morse code from users too low rep to comment – Shoe Dec 4 '13 at 22:24
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    In my defence (although I doubt I'm the one @badp is referring to here), it's sometimes hard to hit the reply button when I'm on my iPad. So I say give us a proper tablet UI! – MBraedley Dec 4 '13 at 23:39
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My suggestion: Make it like a bit like close votes. You get one star action and one unstar action per message. The unstar should refund the star (because the way chat auto-scrolls makes it easy to mis-star), but you shouldn't get to re-star the same message once you've decided to unstar it.

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    Go through the backlog of thousands of messages for hours of starring fun. – CodesInChaos Dec 5 '13 at 12:29
  • @CodesInChaos Messages that are too old cannot be starred already. – fredley Dec 5 '13 at 12:32
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    I doubt that would solve the problem since the user could just as well go on a rampage and star 3 posts, then unstar them, then star 3 other (different) posts and unstar them, and so on... – Shoe Mar 24 '14 at 20:15
  • @Shoe Put in a hard limit of unstar actions within a certain time frame then. – mbomb007 Jan 26 '17 at 19:53
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Thankfully, one of those morons children has done it long enough so that I could take a video to better explain the problem. And as you all can see, initially with multiple stars to later become redundant, this is quite annoying.

I'd suggest to block the user from starring (put a star on) any post for x hours after n (personal preference goes to the number 3) star/unstar actions within t hours.

  • A maximum of 3 stars every 1 hour sounds way too heavy handed. Applying, say, a 1 hour cooldown after 15 (un)star events in the same minute or so would effectively curb the abuse while allowing normal use of chat. If we only count events that change the message score between 1 and 0, the thresholds could be even lower. That said, this is probably an approach that would be kinda too hard to code in. – badp Mar 25 '14 at 13:08
  • @badp, with n I mean star -> unstar (a click on the star and another click on it) actions. I use the chat a lot and that I recall I've only unstarred a message 3 or 4 times in the last year, I think 3 times in an hour is pretty light handed tbh. – Shoe Mar 25 '14 at 13:19
  • @badp, as for coding, this gets as "simple" as loggin every unstar actions and check if the amount of unstar actions is > n within a t hours span period in the last x hours. – Shoe Mar 25 '14 at 13:23

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